I'm a new grad nurse in my seventh month. I spent six months on the ward before moving to the ICU where I have been for a month now.
On my very first day on the ward as a registered nurse I met a month old baby and her family. The baby was known to have a life limiting condition and had an end of life care plan in place however she exceeded all our expectations and kept kicking on. Just before I moved to the ICU she was moved to the ICU as well.. In short, I've known and cared for this child and her family for seven months with the knowledge that she wasn't going to live.
She passed away on the weekend in the ICU, unexpectedly, with her whole family around her. I wasn't at work but my preceptor in the ICU texted me to let me know and the girls from my old ward who went to see her afterwards phoned me to tell me how peaceful she looked. They said that her mum wanted to make sure I knew. As people have started returning to work after their days off I've received more and more text messages and phone calls from other nurses who've heard and knew that I was very fond of this little girl to make sure that I was alright. I feel very lucky to work with such caring people.
However my question is this:
Is it unprofessional/crossing professional boundaries/inappropriate to care so much about this little girl? When I first heard I cried. & when the girls from the ward phoned me I was holding back more tears when they described how peaceful she looked. & then a song came on the radio this evening that we played for her constantly on her CD player and I burst into tears. I feel really sad even though I know that she isn't suffering anymore and I hope that she's in a better, beautiful place.
I spoke with my new graduate supervisor a few weeks about the fact that I was very fond of the baby and knew the family well. A few of the things she said really struck me, in particular that I shouldn't be thinking about baby at home. This worries me because I don't want to cross any lines but at the same time, I can't help but feel sad.
What is the most appropriate way to manage this?